I’ve been running. A lot. Why, you ask? I am training for a half marathon. I’ve been a runner almost all my life, with a few breaks here and there. One of those breaks was last year during my pregnancy and post-pregnancy recovery period. Now that I am hitting it hard again, I am having some rather unwelcome muscle and tendon tightness and inflammation. These runners’ challenges, I have to admit, are new to me. I have, thankfully, escaped my time in athletic endeavors fairly unscathed up until now.
So a few weeks ago, on my 8 mile Saturday long run, I came home discouraged. My knees were killing me, and I had to take several walking and stretch breaks during the run. Brian adjusted me and nearly had to force me to take an ice bath. I was grateful – it helped, but I was still sore all week long. I think I was in denial. I didn’t even complete my full long run the next weekend. But then I woke up that next Sunday morning and a realization came over me like a book falling on my head. My body is self-healing and self-regulating. If I was having dysfunction and pain, it’s because I wasn’t fueling properly, stretching properly, moving properly, or staying in proper alignment. Great news – I have access to ways to fix ALL those things.
Being obsessed with checklists and charts, I immediately created a checklist. . . Hydrate, protein shakes, stock up on my supplements for ligaments and joints, get adjusted minimum 2x per week, stretch, ice twice a day, ice baths after long runs, weekly massage. I was determined. My Mom, once an avid runner herself, reminded me it was probably time for new shoes, and with another huge realization, I went out and invested in some great new running shoes. Dr. Brian happily agreed with all my plans and encouraged me to stick to it.
So the next Saturday rolls around, and I am scheduled to run 10 miles. I had the tiniest hint of fear in the back of my mind, but for the most part I was all positive vibes and optimism. I laced up, popped in my headphones and turned on my Map My Run app. I started texting Brian every time I completed a mile. He would text back little encouraging tidbits. Before I knew it, I was halfway finished and hadn’t even had to stop to walk! I stopped for a quick selfie with the mountains in the background. Brian texted, “Keep going, you can do this! Don’t quit!”
Two miles to go, I was tired and my knees felt tight, but I was mentally strong. One mile to go, I was ready to be done. But a little part of me was so happy, because I knew if I had to, I could be doing that race today and could push another 3.1 after this 10 was done. Brian texted me back after my 9 mile announcement – “we are outside waiting for you!” What a fun sight to round the corner and see my husband, my dog and my baby cheering me in. Haha. It was great.
I felt like I had the support of a coach. It was a huge win. I’m still nursing the knee back to 100%, but I know I will at least finish my race, even if that means walking part of it. It’s okay that I might not set a personal record. I will still have a blast running it with my awesome sister!
Though I incorporated a lot of factors into my healing process attempt, I know I would have been lost without the adjustments to align my pelvis, spine and knees, as well as the encouragement from a loved one.
The takeaway? Health, encouragement, fitness and support can come from a lot of different places. Be sure to keep your eyes and mind open to it. Find providers and a support system who you can trust and rely on. It makes all the difference. Stay tuned for other areas in health I have found a “coach” helpful!
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